Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Life Lessons

In June of 2005, my mom and I began a term as co-editors of our local homeschool newsletter. It has been our delight and our obsession! This year, we felt it was time to move on. For our last issue, we each wrote good-bye articles. Though that audience was made up of homeschool moms, I realized that the ideas I expressed can be applied to all moms so I'm sharing it with you!

Seasons of Serving

Homeschooling is about learning. It is about gaining wisdom and ultimately growing in the knowledge of Jesus and His way. While teaching my children, often I have been the student, too! While preparing to finish serving my term as co-editor, I’ve been reflecting on lessons learned—lessons that must be continually practiced and drilled, lessons that He must review with me daily.

To everything there is a season. When I signed on as co-editor four years ago, I was the mother of a 2 ½ -year-old and a 1-year-old. My belly has swelled twice more and, with it, my obligations. Each time circumstances changed, I mourned the loss of what I once had. Not that I wasn’t thankful for new life or new opportunities but I struggled with shifting responsibilities. With two children, we filled our days with play and crafts and nursing and naps. With three, I played while nursing, did crafts with napping babe in arms. As the oldest began kindergarten, we added math and phonics to the mix. Four children finds us staying home more. When we do venture out, it involves inventing creative ways to juggle an infant and heavy bags while clasping little hands to cross the street. There are days when caring for the needs of the two youngest souls while teaching two older souls is overwhelming, but when I begin to grumble or feel sorry in my circumstances, I remember that this is a season. Life may be different in a year—in a week—but this is my lot for right now. “There is a time for everything, and a season for everything under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

Serving brings joy. Whether it is serving as newsletter editor, serving my family’s meals, or simply buttoning a toddler coat or wiping a tear, giving of myself to others ultimately brings reward. It is rarely easy and I don’t always do it well, but battling the inclination of my flesh cultivates that joy. Does it come naturally to smile after an intense day, to overlook little boy antics at bedtime when I’m exhausted? Does it come naturally to pack my husband’s lunch for the next day when I would rather be reading on the couch? No, but Jesus said, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40)

Do the next thing. I am an organizer and a list maker. I am also a scheduler and a worrier, and when my lists grow long, I panic. Same goes for schoolwork. I look at all the things I want or need to teach my children and I get frazzled. I’m slowly recognizing the need to just “do the next thing.” Do what God has for me now instead of looking towards the next hour or day or month or school year. Do what He requires of me next instead of trying to (unsuccessfully) tackle everything at once. This doesn’t require abolishing my lists, plans, and calendars. It simply requires that I do the next thing and then leave it up to Him as to how, or if, I’ll accomplish the rest. “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” (Matthew 6:27, 34)

And now my season of serving as co-editor has come to a close. The Lord is leading on. I pray for His guidance as we all seek to do the next thing.



  1. First of all, way to go for doing the editor position for so long with little kids! I'm sure you and your mom did an awesome job!

    Second, that post was what I needed to hear. I sure did feel sorry for myself yesterday and had a miserable day because the boys were getting on my nerves and I was miserable pregnant... I was wallowing in self pity.

    I guess I was meant to get up at 4am and read this...sure does put my day in a different perspective!

  2. Hi,...It's Linda from Truthful Tidbits,...bits and pieces of my life! (See the similarities?)

    Life is full of bits and pieces that's for sure,...and they all come together to make up our wonderful lives. And Life is a gift from God and I thank Him for it!!!

    Mine has been going on for almost 59 years. I have a wonderful husband and 3 sweet daughters, fine sons-in-law, and 14 precious grandchildren,...but 3 of them are living in heaven.

    I enjoyed reading your post. I loved Elizabeth Elliott,(Christian speaker and author/missionary), and she always said,..."Just do the next thing". This has always kept me going during the hectic times of my life.

    Please come for a visit at my blog and make yourself at home. ((smile))

  3. I am sure you will be so missed... no one could fill your shoes!!

    Love your writing and your honesty... you always inspire me.



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